Online Program

Self-reported prescription pain pill, sedative, or tranquilizer use among females in 11 provincial capitals in Afghanistan—findings from the Afghanistan national urban drug use study (ANUDUS)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Linda Cottler, PhD, MPH, Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health and Health Professions, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Corrine Ruktanonchai, MPH, CPH, Department of Epidemiology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Mohammad A. Ghani, MD, Spectre Group, Alexandria, VA
Mark Gold, MD, Departments of Psychiatry, Neuroscience, Anesthesiology, Community Health & Family Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
David Martin, PhD, JMJ Technologies, Lansdale, PA
The Afghanistan National Urban Drug Use Study (ANUDUS) is an epidemiological study conducted from July 2010-April 2012 assessing substance use within the country. Female Heads of Household (HoH) were approached throughout 11 Provinces in Afghanistan and asked to report substance use and risk factors within the household. This analysis presents self-reported patterns of lifetime and past 30 day use of pain pills, sedatives, or tranquilizers among females within the household, and presents information on correlative risk factors associated with recent use. Overall, 2,187 households were surveyed, representing 9,453 females and 9,578 males. Among these households, 14.5% reported females and 5.3% reported males who had ever used these substances. 5.5% of households reported a female and only 2.5% reported a male within the household who had used these substances within the past 30 days. The most frequent means for obtaining these substances was via a doctor or nurse (94.2%), most commonly in order to sleep (11.4%) or treat an illness (4.8%). After controlling for other factors, higher income households, a female in the household who recently used opium, and households where women had been beaten had significantly higher odds of reporting use of these substances than others. These findings suggest women in Afghanistan are obtaining these substances from health professionals, primarily in order to sleep or treat illnesses. However, because violence in the home against women presents significantly higher odds of reporting recent use of these substances, women may be using substances as a coping mechanism, suggesting need for further study.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Discuss potential reasons for gender discrepancies in regards to pain pill, tranquilizer and sedative use. Evaluate the role of violence against women in the household in substance use among women in Afghanistan. Identify the sources of obtaining pain pills, tranquilizers and sedatives among females in Afghanistan, in addition to routes of use.

Keyword(s): Prescription Drug Use Patterns, Women

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the local PI of this study, and I have spent the last 22-plus years directing community based NIH-funded research, in several areas of public health importance, including the development of culturally reliable and valid measures for identifying substance use, abuse, and dependence, psychiatric disorders and their risk factors, as well as innovative methods for conducting national surveys of high risk behaviors.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.